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Patterns of Genetic Differentiation in the Slender Wild Oat Species Avena barbata

M. T. Clegg and R. W. Allard
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 69, No. 7 (Jul., 1972), pp. 1820-1824
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/61901
Page Count: 5
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Patterns of Genetic Differentiation in the Slender Wild Oat Species Avena barbata
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Abstract

Allozyme frequencies at five enzyme loci were determined for 14 California populations of Avena barbata, a species introduced to California from the Mediterranean Basin during the colonization of North America. Allelic frequencies at these loci were also determined in Mediterranean collections of this species. The pattern of divergence of the California populations from the ancestral gene pool was not random and was strongly correlated with environment; thus, the pattern is not in accord with the hypothesis that most electrophoretically detectable variants are adaptively neutral. Rates of gene substitution in California were also not in accord with the neutrality hypothesis. The observations are, however, compatible with predictions of Neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory. We interpret these observations to indicate that natural selection plays a major role in determining the unique patterns of distribution of genetic variability in the slender wild oat in California.

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